Emmanuel Day School is a 4-Star program located in Newport, Rhode Island. I recently visited the program to discover an intricately decorated Dramatic Play space with a post office theme. Dramatic Play is a play offering that is measured in the ECERS, and high quality Dramatic Play often includes diverse themes that allow children to role play real-life scenarios. A post office theme, in particular, also provides opportunities that for fine motor, language development (like helping children see that the words they say can be written down) and even cultural diversity, if materials or images to support the idea of sending letters to other parts of the world (or equivalent) is included. EDS director, Carissa Perkowski shared that the children were preparing for a field trip to the post office, where children could mail Valentines home to their families. She shared their experience below:
Special Delivery! At Emmanuel Day School we write so many love letters in February that we need our very own Post Office to process them. Our dramatic play center transforms into a working mail room with everything from envelopes, boxes and stamps, to mail bins, a scale and even a real mail bag for delivery. The children eagerly explore all jobs at our Emmanuel Day School Post office. They enjoy writing messages, addressing and stamping envelopes, weighing their packages, using the register to sell stamps and ship boxes, sorting various sizes and most importantly delivering the mail throughout the school to their friends and teachers.
We enhance our dramatic play experience by taking a field trip to our local post office. On the field trip we mail our valentine cards and get a behind the scenes tour of the mail room in action! On the field trip we even get to meet many of our own mail men and women who deliver mail to our homes each day. Seeing a real post office in action is inspiring and we can’t wait to get back to our own dramatic play center at school to act out what we saw. This study comes full circle when we receive the valentine cards we mailed at the post office at our own home. We love learning about the post office!